Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations - How to - Demand Africa (2022)

How an Ethiopian Christmas is Celebrated

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Before we dig into how an Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated, let’s start with some history. Ethiopia is one of the oldest countries in Africa and indeed the world! Located in the Horn of Africa, Ethiopia is a rugged, landlocked country split by the Great Rift Valley. Archaeological discoveries dating back to over 3 million years, crisscross the length and breadth of the country, making it a land of ancient history and culture. Important landmarks and ruins found in Ethiopia include the Lalibela with its rock-cut Christian churches from the 12th–13th centuries, the Aksum; an ancient city with obelisks, tombs, castles as well as Our Lady Mary of Zion church.

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With over a 100 million people, Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa. There are other fascinating facts about Ethiopia that are worthy of mention:

  1. In Ethiopia, the calculation of time is based on checking the hours from the break of dawn.
  2. Ethiopia runs with the Coptic Calendar, as opposed to the Gregorian which is in operation in other parts of the world. Whereas the Gregorian calendar constitutes 365 days in a year and 366 in every leap year, the Coptic has 13 months. Of the thirteen months, 12 feature 30 days while the final month, also called the intercalary month, has 5 days and 6 days in a leap year.
  3. As a consequence of adopting the Coptic calendar, Ethiopia celebrates the New Year on September 11th.
  4. As for Christmas, Ethiopians mark the ancient festival on the 7th January of every year!

Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations

Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations - How to - Demand Africa (2)

For starters, more than half the population profess Christianity. Many of these are also adherents of the Orthodox Church in Ethiopia. This religious leaning greatly influences the ways and means of marking Christmas in the country. In fact, if you do decide to spend Christmas in Ethiopia, then expect things to come differently with regards to what activities and events you would consider typical or take for granted in other parts of the world.

Because unlike many other parts of the world, Christmas is not commercialized to large extents in Ethiopia. The focus is more on gatherings of family and friends as well as a strict observance of the spiritual aspects of the festival. People spend a lot of time praying and singing. The following sums up the Yuletide celebrations in Ethiopia:

Yuletide Fast

Christmas in Ethiopia is also called Ganna, by the Orthodox Church. As mentioned earlier in the article, the day is marked on the 7th January of every year. But if you are going to play a part in the actual celebrations, then prepare to join in the fast on Christmas ‘eve’, the 6th January. The fast runs through the whole day and breaks at dawn. On Christmas day, you will find citizens attired in traditional garments called ‘Shamma’ and headed to church, where the fast is officially ended. The shamma is made of a thin white cloth and worn like a toga.

The Yuletide Church Service or Mass

This is another peculiar feature of Christmas in Ethiopia. Mass begins as early as 4 am, as you will observe that citizens visit churches closest to their places of residence. The physical locations of the church forms an interesting tale. If the church is of the ancient kind, it will be situated outside the capital city, Addis Ababa. The structure of the ancient places of worship comes from solid, volcanic rocks.

Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations - How to - Demand Africa (3)

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For modern churches, located within the capital city, the building style is more expressive. These churches sit on three concentric circles. Within the outmost circle, the members of the choir sing and minister

The mass commences as people enter the churches and receive candles. You will observe that congregants walk around the outermost circle thrice, holding the candles in hand.

From there, worshippers proceed to the second circle and stand for the duration of the service as there are no seats in the church.

The centre circle is considered the most sacred part of the church. From here, the priest leads the service and conducts the Holy Communion.

Expect to spend at least three to four hours in church for the Yuletide day mass.

Yuletide Games and Activities

With the overall objective of bringing the family together, men and boys play a traditional game, coincidentally called ganna. At this game, family members and friends gather to cheer and support different teams. Ganna involves the use of a wooden stick and a wooden ball. The game has close similarities to the game of Hockey.

Another popular game at Christmas in Ethiopia is “Yeferas suk”. Involving the menfolk only, it involves individuals riding on horseback and shooting harmless spears at one another.

Christmas Dishes

If you do get invited to feast at an Ethiopian home during Christmas, expect to see traditional, everyday cuisines. You will be served lots of Injerra during the Yuletide feast. Injerra is a flat, spongy bread that forms the base for almost all the meals eaten in the country. Think you might not get the proverbial Christmas chicken? Not to worry as you will savor the rich taste of “doro wat’, which is Ethiopian chicken served in delicious red, pepper paste.

Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations - How to - Demand Africa (4)

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With drinks, you are spoiled for choice. You can opt for “Tej”. Tej is a kind of honey wine with a wide appeal across the country. Tej is made from fermenting honey and ‘gesho’ a shrub used in the same way hops are. What results is a sweet, smoky drink that goes along with your Ethiopian Christmas meal.

There are also a variety of Ethiopian wines from the Rift Valley region of the country. These wines pattern the established forms from parts of Europe like Cuvee Prestige Chardonnay and the Cuvee Prestige Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot blend. The vines grow in Ziway, about 150km southeast of Addis Ababa.

Or you could stick to Ethiopian coffee, which is one of the most popular species in the world. “Jebena buna” is coffee brewed in the traditional clay pot (known as a ‘jebena’). It is a strong expresso type of coffee served in a small glass cup. You could add some sugar but it’s taken with no milk.

If you do like milk in your coffee while in Ethiopia, then the ‘macchiato’ will tickle your fancy. You can get this drink from coffee shops and malls.

Festival of Timkat

Ethiopian Christmas Celebrations - How to - Demand Africa (5)

After the curtains may have been drawn on Ganna, brace yourself for the celebration of Timkat! This celebration occurs twelve days after Ganna and it centers on the baptism of Jesus Christ. The Timkat celebration begins on the 19th January and lasts for three days. During the period, you will find children attired in robes and crowns, moving in processions to attend church services.

Rich music accompanies such processions, with instruments such as sistrum and T-shaped prayer sticks with drums belting out joyous music.

Exchange of Gifts

If you expect to give or receive a gift during the Yuletide celebrations in Ethiopia, you will be disappointed. Ethiopians do not give or accept gifts during the period. Rather, you will find that citizens engage in other activities like prayers, fasting, feasting and playing games.

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So there goes your typical Ethiopian Christmas celebration. While there are no Christmas trees and giving of gifts, an Ethiopian Christmas has its own peculiarities that come with the charm and the unfathomable spirituality involved in the Ganna celebrations.

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FAQs

How Ethiopia celebrates Christmas? ›

Ethiopians attend church on Christmas Eve

The church service typically begins at around 6 pm and continues through to the early hours of Christmas day. Chanting and singing are central to the services, many people go from church to church on foot to take part in various services before the break of dawn.

Why do they celebrate Christmas in Ethiopia? ›

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.

What makes Ethiopia different from other African countries? ›

Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa, once ruled as a dynasty by a series of monarchs. It is distinct from most other African nations as it is one of the only countries that successfully resisted European colonisation .

What was Ethiopia called before? ›

Ethiopia, formerly Abyssinia, is a landlocked country in the East of Africa. It shares one of its borders with Somalia, to the East. Sudan to the West, South Sudan to the South West. Kenya to the South and Djibouti to the North East.

What is special about Ethiopian? ›

Ethiopia is known as the Cradle of Mankind, with some of the earliest ancestors found buried in the soil. Lucy (3.5 million years old), the most famous fossils found, were unearthed in Hadar. Ethiopia remains one of the only nations in Africa never to be colonized.

What is Ethiopian Christmas called? ›

While the rest of the world celebrates Christmas on December 25th, Ethiopians, alongside Russian, Greek, Eritrean, and Serbian Orthodox churches, celebrate Christmas Day which is called “Genna” on January 7th.

Why do Ethiopians wear white? ›

The white cloths worn on holidays and special occasions stand for the cultures of the Orthodox religion. The color white for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church symbolizes happiness, beauty and…

What year is it in Ethiopia 2022? ›

That means the year in Ethiopia is currently 2014, while in other parts of the world it's 2022. Ethiopia celebrated the millennium (or year 2000) on 11 September 2007 of the Gregorian Calendar.

What makes Ethiopia unique from Africa? ›

Ethiopia is indeed the only country in Africa where different religions live together in relative peace- what a nice example of tolerance! Furthermore, Ethiopia is the only African country with its own script, which was developed in the second century after Christ.

Is Ethiopia the original name of Africa? ›

The name Africa was given to this continent by the ancient Romans and Greeks. However, Alkebulan was not the only name used for the continent. There were many others used throughout history by the people living there, including Corphye, Ortigia, Libya, and Ethiopia. However, Alkebulan is the most common one.

What was Africa called in the Bible? ›

Cush, Cushitic and Cushi

In the Major Prophets, the terms used to refer to Africa and Africans appear more than 180 times. Cush appears also as a geographical location.

What was Ethiopia called in the Bible? ›

B ETHIOPIA IN THE OLD TESTAMENT

Ethiopia is mentioned variously in every major division of the Hebrew Bible and used interchangeably with Cush,13 and it was later identified with Nubia and Aksum. In its broader sense, the name Aethiopia should not be equated with Ethiopia of today which was designated in 1885.

What is the biggest holiday celebrated in Ethiopia? ›

One of the most important festivals on the Ethiopian calendar, Timkat (Timket) is celebrated across the country.

Why Ethiopian are so proud? ›

Known to most in the West as the home of Emperor Haile Selassie, the so-called Lion of Judah. Ethiopians are proud of their beautiful and varied country because they alone among African nations were never colonized. Just that fact gives Ethiopia something of a different feel than other places in Africa.

Is Ethiopian an African country? ›

Ethiopia is Africa's oldest independent country and its second largest in terms of population.

Why is the Ethiopian calendar 7 years behind? ›

Why is Ethiopia seven years behind? Ethiopia's calendar takes its inspiration from the idea that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years before they were expelled for their sins. After they repented, the Bible says that God promised to save them after 5,500 years.

What food does Ethiopia eat? ›

Ethiopian Cuisine: 7 Dishes to Try
  • Injera.
  • Tibs.
  • Doro Wat.
  • Azifa.
  • Gomen.
  • Chechebsa.
  • Sambusas.
18 Sept 2019

Do Ethiopians have Christmas trees? ›

While there are no Christmas trees and giving of gifts, an Ethiopian Christmas has its own peculiarities that come with the charm and the unfathomable spirituality involved in the Ganna celebrations.

What is Genna game? ›

Genna is a field hockey sport played in Ethiopia, with which the Ethiopian Christmas festival of genna shares its name. Players use carved wooden sticks to strike a wooden ball in an effort to pass it through the opponents' goal at the end of the pitch.

What is disrespectful in Ethiopian culture? ›

It is considered rude to decline an offer to eat. If you cannot accept food for a legitimate reason, decline it politely with a bow to show gratitude. It is rude to eat in front of people without offering them any food, especially guests. It is important to wash your hands before a meal is served.

What do Ethiopian men wear? ›

An Ethiopian suit or Eritrean suit is the name given in America to the traditional formal wear of the men of Ethiopia and Eritrea. It consists of a long sleeve, knee-length shirt, and matching pants. Most shirts are made with a Mandarin, band, or Nehru collar.

What type of clothing do Ethiopians wear? ›

The Ethiopian traditional costume is made of woven cotton. Ethiopian men and women wear this traditional costume called gabbi or Netella. Women often wear dresses (Kemis) and netella with borders of coloured embroidered woven crosses, but other designs are also used.

What is Santa called in Ethiopia? ›

Santa Claus is a fairly recent visitor to Ethiopia, only being known about through 'western' Christmas traditions. In the Amharic language, Father Christmas or Santa Claus is called 'Yágena Abãt' which means 'Christmas Father'.

What calendar does Ethiopia use? ›

While much of the world marks the passing of days according to the Gregorian calendar, Ethiopia has its own calendar, which is also known as the Ge'ez Calendar.

What are the months in the Ethiopian calendar? ›

Calendar
Ethiopian MonthGregorian MonthGregorian Equivalent Dates
Hidar (month 3)November (month 11)November 10 - December 9
Tahsas (month 4)December (month 12)December 10 - January 8
Tir (month 5)January (month 1)January 9 - February 7
Yakatit (month 6)Febuary (month 2)February 8 - March 9
9 more rows

What is the 13th month called in Ethiopia? ›

Pagume, the 13th month in the Ethiopian calendar, comes from the Greek word epagomene, which means 'days forgotten when a year is calculated'. This month has five days or six days in a leap year. According to the Ethiopian calendar, a year has 365 days, six hours, two minutes and 24 seconds.

Which part of Africa is Ethiopia? ›

The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is located in the north-eastern part of Africa commonly known as the Horn of Africa. It is strategically proximate to the Middle East and Europe, together with its easy access to the major ports of the region, enhances its international trade.

Is Ethiopia older than Egypt? ›

Ethiopia is old, even older than Egypt, but its antiquity is somewhat different.

Is Ethiopia rich or poor? ›

With about 115 million people (2020), Ethiopia is the second most populous nation in Africa after Nigeria, and still the fastest growing economy in the region, with 6.3 percent growth in FY2020/21. However, it is also one of the poorest, with a per capita gross national income of $890.

What are the people of Ethiopia called? ›

Ethiopians are the native inhabitants of Ethiopia, as well as the global diaspora of Ethiopia. Ethiopians constitute several component ethnic groups, many of which are closely related to ethnic groups in neighboring Eritrea and other parts of the Horn of Africa.

What kind of country is Ethiopia? ›

Ethiopia is a landlocked country on the Horn of Africa, in the east of the continent. The country lost its access to the Red Sea in 1992 when Eritrea gained its independence from Ethiopia. It is bordered by Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Somaliland (Somalia).

Why is Ethiopia called the Horn of Africa? ›

The North-Eastern region of the African continent including the countries of Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia is known as the Horn of Africa since the group of countries form a horn-like landmass over the peninsula. A good way to remember the group is as S-E-E-D-S.

What is Ethiopian culture and tradition? ›

Ethiopia is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country. Religion is a major influence in Ethiopian life. Nearly half the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but there is a also large Muslim population. Others adhere to an ancient form of Judaism. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church is proud of its origins.

What it means to be Ethiopian? ›

1 : a native or inhabitant of Ethiopia. 2 : a member of any of the mythical or actual peoples usually described by the ancient Greeks as dark-skinned and living far to the south. 3 archaic : a Black person.

What is Africa real name? ›

Alkebu-lan “mother of mankind” or “garden of Eden”.” Alkebulan is the oldest and the only word of indigenous origin. It was used by the Moors, Nubians, Numidians, Khart-Haddans (Carthagenians), and Ethiopians.

What's the original name of Africa? ›

What was Africa called before Africa? The Kemetic or Alkebulan history of Afrika suggests that the ancient name of the continent was Alkebulan. The word Alkebu-Ian is the oldest and the only word of indigenous origin. Alkebulan meaning the garden of Eden or the mother of mankind.

What is the full meaning of Africa? ›

Definition. AFRICA. Action for Resisting Invasion, Colonialism and Apartheid.

What does Africa mean in Hebrew? ›

The Hebrew name for the continent, Auphirah is said to be written as Ophir in many Jewish records. Another theory that claims that Africa was named after a Yemenite chieftain Africus, who invaded North Africa around the second millennium BC.

How many countries in Africa name them? ›

There are 54 countries in Africa today, according to the United Nations. The full list is shown in the table below, with current population and subregion (based on the United Nations official statistics).

Why is Africa called the motherland? ›

We Call Africa the "Motherland" Because It's the Birthplace of the Human Race.

What does Habesha mean in Arabic? ›

According to some, the word habesha means “mixed” in Arabic and is sometimes equivalent to calling someone a slave.

What is God's chosen country? ›

When you hear the phrase, “God's chosen nation,” what comes to mind? If you've read the story of the Hebrew Bible (or Old Testament, you know that it tells the story of God's interaction with one particular nation, Israel. The Hebrew Scriptures are full of language about Israel's special status as God's chosen nation.

Is the original Bible in Ethiopia? ›

The Ethiopian Bible is the oldest and most complete bible on earth. Written in Ge'ez an ancient dead language of Ethiopia it's nearly 800 years older than the King James Version and contains over 100 books compared to 66 of the Protestant Bible.

How do Ethiopians celebrate? ›

Celebrations in Ethiopia are great and colorful events, mostly religious, and frequently take place over several days. Important Christian holidays include Meskel, Christmas, Timkat, Kiddus Yohannes and Easter. Timkat, which marks Christ's baptism, is the most colorful event of the year.

What are some traditions in Ethiopia? ›

The customs of Ethiopia continue to be deeply rooted in centuries of practice, and many aspects of daily life are ritualised. For example, there is a correct and traditional way to serve coffee, fold a dress, cut chicken and greet people. The country also has its own ancient alphabet and calendar that are still in use.

What is the meaning of Timket? ›

The word Timket, from the Ge'ez word Asteryo meaning “to reveal”, refers to the revelation associated with the Church's theology which is the unity of God the father, the son and the Holy Ghost during the baptism of Christ.

How do you say Merry Christmas in Ethiopia? ›

(Merry Christmas in Amharic, Ethiopia's national language)

What is Santa called in Ethiopia? ›

Santa Claus is a fairly recent visitor to Ethiopia, only being known about through 'western' Christmas traditions. In the Amharic language, Father Christmas or Santa Claus is called 'Yágena Abãt' which means 'Christmas Father'.

Do Ethiopians have Christmas trees? ›

While there are no Christmas trees and giving of gifts, an Ethiopian Christmas has its own peculiarities that come with the charm and the unfathomable spirituality involved in the Ganna celebrations.

What is the biggest holiday celebrated in Ethiopia? ›

One of the most important festivals on the Ethiopian calendar, Timkat (Timket) is celebrated across the country.

Why do Ethiopians wear white? ›

The white cloths worn on holidays and special occasions stand for the cultures of the Orthodox religion. The color white for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church symbolizes happiness, beauty and…

What year is it in Ethiopia 2022? ›

That means the year in Ethiopia is currently 2014, while in other parts of the world it's 2022. Ethiopia celebrated the millennium (or year 2000) on 11 September 2007 of the Gregorian Calendar.

What is the Ethiopian culture like? ›

Ethiopian Society and Culture

Ethiopia is a multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country. Religion is a major influence in Ethiopian life. Nearly half the population belongs to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church but there is a also large Muslim population. Others adhere to an ancient form of Judaism.

Why is the Ethiopian calendar 7 years behind? ›

Why is Ethiopia seven years behind? Ethiopia's calendar takes its inspiration from the idea that Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden for seven years before they were expelled for their sins. After they repented, the Bible says that God promised to save them after 5,500 years.

What is the name of the 13th month in Ethiopia? ›

Pagume, the 13th month in the Ethiopian calendar, comes from the Greek word epagomene, which means 'days forgotten when a year is calculated'. This month has five days or six days in a leap year. According to the Ethiopian calendar, a year has 365 days, six hours, two minutes and 24 seconds.

Is the True Cross in Ethiopia? ›

The Ethiopia True Cross festival is held in Meskel Square (named after the festival) in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia.

When was the first Christmas in Ethiopia? ›

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations dating back to 2500 B.C. They converted to Christianity in the early 4th century around 330 making them also one of the oldest Christian nations. Ethiopia still uses the old Julian calendar today, so they celebrate Christmas (known to them as Ganna) on January 7th.

What food does Ethiopia eat? ›

Ethiopian Cuisine: 7 Dishes to Try
  • Injera.
  • Tibs.
  • Doro Wat.
  • Azifa.
  • Gomen.
  • Chechebsa.
  • Sambusas.
18 Sept 2019

Is today Ethiopian Christmas? ›

Ethiopian Christmas Day Observances
YearWeekdayDate
2019MonJan 7
2020TueJan 7
2021ThuJan 7
2022FriJan 7
7 more rows

How do Ethiopians celebrate? ›

Celebrations in Ethiopia are great and colorful events, mostly religious, and frequently take place over several days. Important Christian holidays include Meskel, Christmas, Timkat, Kiddus Yohannes and Easter. Timkat, which marks Christ's baptism, is the most colorful event of the year.

What is the meaning of Timket? ›

The word Timket, from the Ge'ez word Asteryo meaning “to reveal”, refers to the revelation associated with the Church's theology which is the unity of God the father, the son and the Holy Ghost during the baptism of Christ.

Brocaded in dust, we stood with our host, Habtamu, surveying the sea of pilgrims padding barefoot down the hill into Ethiopia’s “new Jerusalem”, Lalibela.

Brocaded in dust, we stood with our host, Habtamu, surveying the sea of pilgrims padding barefoot down the hill into Ethiopia’s “new Jerusalem”, Lalibela.. Like us, the pilgrims wasted no time in getting to Lalibela’s fascinating Unesco-enshrined 12th-century churches.. According to tradition, Lalibela became a holy city after the capture of Jerusalem by Muslim forces in 1187; since Ethiopian Christian pilgrims could no longer go there, the reigning king – Lalibela – declared the town to be a new Jerusalem.. On our way to the churches, we wandered through the pilgrims’ market with its riot of offerings: bibles with goatskin covers, silver Coptic crosses of all shapes and sizes, huge vibrantly-coloured traditional skin drums, ceremonial umbrellas and, finally, the vital fly swatter created from horse hair.. At sunrise, the church emptied, again in a crush as people followed a procession of more than 100 white-robed priests, in their white turbans, carrying golden scarves.. Habtamu explained that the courtyard priests represent the world’s people, and the priests high above represent the angels.. As the ceremony finished, the bleary-eyed congregants began to disperse, flooding the town for the first Christmas meal, provided free by locals: juice made from flaxseed (to oil up the intestines after 43 fasting days called Tsome Nebiyat, “the fast of the prophets”) before moving on to the spicy chicken stew doro wot, made in well-beaten pots, accompanied by a towering pile of injera and, most importantly, strong treacle-thick Ethiopian coffee.

If western-style December hijinks aren’t enough, why not head for the Ethiopian highlands and join the country’s January Christmas celebrations – and take in a trekking holiday while you’re at it, writes Felicity Bryan

It was very early morning on 7 January: Christmas Day for the Ethiopian Orthodox church.. A world heritage site, the Churches of Lalibela – 13 in all – were carved out of rock in the 12th century after King Lalibela had a vision – quite a common occurrence in Ethiopian history.. Just before 7am, in the day’s first light, a procession of 400 priests, including the patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox church in his magnificent hat, progressed to the cliff-top above us.. Ethiopia was somewhere we had always wanted to go, and we found a fantastic way to do it when we read (in a Guardian Green Travel supplement) about Tesfa Tours , a “community tourism” company that takes groups trekking in the highlands, staying in villages as guests of rural communities.. Tours usually combine a visit to several attractions – Bahir Dar on Lake Tana (the source of the Blue Nile), Gondar (a former capital founded in the 17th century) and Lalibela – with a major trek.. After visiting Lake Tana’s spectacular monasteries and the palaces of Gondar, we drove for five hours into the Wollo Highlands to start our trek at Werkhaye Mariam.. There we were greeted by Belay, our guide and interpreter for the trek (our hosts spoke the local Amharic language).. Lunch – every day – was traditional Ethiopian fare, which meant injera – an unappealing-looking pancake made from teff, a seed unique to the Horn of Africa, which is fermented then cooked to look like a dirty grey flannel.. There is a different calendar; it is one of only two countries in Africa not to have been colonised (though the Italians under Mussolini occupied it from 1935-1941); and its Christian religion – which came via the Levant and was established in the fourth century AD – bears strong links to Judaism, which had got there first.. And never have I been in a place where there are two such strongly held, parallel views of history: what we know happened and what Ethiopians believe happened – what writer and scholar Karen Armstrong calls logos and mythos – co-exist.. We were woken daily by a cacophony of cocks crowing deep in the valley, followed by the gentle, rhythmic thud of a lady grinding freshly roasted coffee with a pestle – Ethiopia is said to be the original home of coffee.

Visitors are welcome to observe Ethiopia's celebrations and festivals.

In September, the two-day feast of Meskal marks the finding of the True Cross.. ​Muslim holidays are based on the lunar calendar and fall at different times each year.. One of the great Muslim feasts of the year is 'Id Al Fatr, which celebrates the end of Ramadan.. The day is called Enkutatash meaning the "gift of jewels.". On Easter eve people go to church and celebrate with candles which are lit during a colorful Easter mass service which begins at about 6 PM and ends at about 2 AM.. Meskel, one of the major Ethiopian Orthodox festivals is celebrated for two days beginning September 26th.. Celebrating the Baptism of Christ, every January 19th (January 20 during leap year), Timkat is the greatest colorful festival of Orthodox Christians in Ethiopia.. This is when the Tabots of each church are carried out in procession to a river or pool of water where the next day's celebration will take place.. And it is only on this morning that the Tabot of St. Michael’s is returned to his church, also accompanied by the singing and dancing of priests and locals with their colorful dress.

There are several Ethiopian holiday celebrations in the country...Therefore, we can see them as Christian, Muslim, and National holidays.

These holidays celebrated annually could take up several days of the year and Ethiopians practice their own tradition and activities during celebrations.. In the Muslim society, there is an annual fasting period starting in the ninth month called Ramadan, Id Alfatr one of the greatest holidays which demarcate and celebrate the end of this Ramadan fasting period.. Meskel Ethiopian Holiday (Finding of the true cross) is one of Ethiopian orthodox major holiday and celebrated for two days at the beginning of September 26th this holiday celebrated in the colorful and large festivity.. It does have two occasions the first one held on the eve of Meskel Ethiopian Holiday called Damera to celebrate in huge religion festivity in the main city of Ethiopia Addis Ababa large rare fire built at Meskel Adebabaye, a place where most annual celebrations event occurs, then the patriarch of Orthodox Church expected to lighten the bonfire right after theyare blessed.. Timket Ethiopian Holiday is another Ethiopian Orthodox Christian celebration commemorates the baptism of using us, Christ, in the Jordan River.. On this day, the Tabot will be carried, out of the churches to a special tent built temporarily to a river pool of water where the next day of celebration will take place.. The Ethiopian holiday Easter celebrated for 3 days in the country.. Ethiopian Orthodox Christians don’t eat meat dairy products for 55 days and the 54th day is called Seklet always falls on Friday.. During this day all schools and workplaces will be closed and Christians gather in churches to celebrate the day that Jesus Christ crucified.. Certain groups of people march out the street to celebrate this day and mark Green, the yellow , red color of Ethiopian flag and dance and pray cultural dances .. Ethiopian holiday is similar to any other country except for its unique days and celebrations.. Religious celebrations usually begin after a long term fasting days and the anticipation of the final day of the fasting and the beginning of the holiday makes the process interesting.. The christams Ethiopian Holiday and epiphany Ethiopian Holiday have been tourist attraction days.

2020 Holdiays in Ethiopia...Everything You Need to Know About Ethiopian Holidays...Ethiopian Holidays...Date/ Weekday/ Holiday name/ Holiday type.., Ethiopian Christmas Day, Public Holiday, Epiphany, Public Holiday, Adwa Victory Day, Public Holiday, March equinox, Season, Friday, Ethiopian Good Friday, Public Holiday...

Everything You Need to Know About Ethiopian Holidays January 7, Monday, Ethiopian Christmas Day, Public Holiday. April 26, Friday, Ethiopian Good Friday, Public Holiday. April 28, Sunday, Ethiopian Easter Sunday, Sunday Public Holiday. September 12, Thursday, Ethiopian New Year, Public Holiday. All There is to Know About Ethiopian Festivals Genna is the Ethiopian Christmas and it relates to other Orthodox Christmas celebrations around the world.. On Christmas Eve, the faithful participate in church services through the night before celebrating with family and friends on Christmas day.. Fasika is Ethiopian Easter and is celebrated in union with Orthodox Easter celebrations around the world.. The following day, families and friends celebrate Fasika with special feasts that mark the end of the long fast.. Like most holidays, the celebration takes place the night before the actually holiday (Saturday night).. Ethiopia follows the Julian calendar, which consists of 13 months - 12 months each with 30 days and a final month with 5 days (6 days in leap year).. In 2007 (Gregorian calendar), Ethiopia rang in the year 2000 and the new Ethiopian Millennium with colorful celebrations throughout the country.. Enkutatash happens to come near the end of a long rainy season, coloring the green landscapes with bright yellow flowers (called the Meskel Flower, or adei abeba in Amharic) and giving great reason to celebrate the new harvest.. Meskel (Finding of the True Cross), is the celebration of the finding of remnants of the actual cross on which Jesus was crucified.. Meskel celebrations begin the night before with large bonfires topped with a cross and decorated with meskel flowers.. This ceremony symbolizes a young mans readiness to make the social jump from an immature member of society into a man responsible enough to be married and raise a family.

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